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n Historia - "Running twice as fast while remaining in the same position" : Settler wheat production in Southern Rhodesia, c.1928-1965 : conference paper

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Abstract

Given that temperate conditions are essential for wheat production, Zimbabwe (formerly Southern Rhodesia), located in the tropics, is certainly not an ideal wheat producing area. As such, each year reports circulate in the Zimbabwean media regarding the numerous challenges faced by wheat farmers emphasising immediate action lest the nation fails to get bread, an important component of the Zimbabwean diet. However, given the importance of wheat and wheaten products, it is amazing that very little is known about the history of wheat culture in the country and the historical role played by the colonial state towards its development. This study traces the historical development of wheat production, arguing that it grew as a result of the perpetuation of Western modes of consumption, and that this history is characterised by futile attempts to tip the balance of wheat trade in favour of the settler community. It concludes that by 1965, climatic challenges, labour shortages, population explosion and financial difficulties had connived to deny Southern Rhodesia the envisaged goal of self-sufficiency in wheat and wheaten products.

Gegewe die feit dat gematigde klimaatstoestande noodsaaklik is vir die produksie van koring, is Zimbabwe (voorheen Suid-Rhodesië), wat in 'n sub-tropiese gebied geleë is, nie ideaal daarvoor geskik nie. Derhalwe verskyn daar jaarliks berigte in die Zimbabwiese media aangaande die verskeie uitdagings wat graanprodusente in die gesig staar. Die berigte beklemtoon gewoonlik die behoefte aan drastiese optrede in gevalle wanneer daar 'n broodgebrek voorkom aangesien brood 'n belangrike komponent van die Zimbabwiese stapeldieët vorm. Desnieteenstaande die belangrikheid van koring en koringprodukte, is dit opvallend dat daar min kennis bestaan oor die geskiedenis van die koringkultuur in die land en die historiese rol wat die koloniale staat gespeel het in die ontwikkeling van hierdie kultuur. Hierdie artikel ondersoek die historiese ontwikkeling van koringproduksie in Zimbabwe en voer aan dat dit ontwikkel het as volg van die bestendiging van westerse verbruikerspatrone. Die geskiedenis van hierdie verbruikerspatrone is gekenmerk deur futiele pogings om die skaal van die koringhandel in die guns van die wit setlaarsgemeenskap te swaai. Die artikel kom tot die gevolgtrekking dat faktore soos klimaatsveranderinge, arbeidstekorte, bevolkingsontploffing en finansiële probleme teen 1965 meegewerk het om Suid-Rhodesië se voorneme van selfversorgendheid ten opsigte van graan te verydel.

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/content/hist/58/1/EJC136185
2013-05-01
2016-12-05
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